Culture, tourism sectors pick up in Shandong

(| Updated : 2020-03-27

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As the threat posed by the novel coronavirus in Shandong decreases, the province has begun making efforts to restore the temporarily paralyzed culture and tourism industry, with more scenic attractions and cultural institutions reopening and travel restrictions being loosened.

Eight major cultural venues in Jinan, the provincial capital, reopened on March 25. At 9 o'clock that morning, the Jinan Library welcomed its first group of visitors. A digital screen inside the library displays real-time information on the number of people in the library and offers tips on how to prevent infection.

After being open for just one hour, the library welcomed 348 visitors.

"We are requiring people to make reservations and limiting the number of visitors to avoid overcrowding. Seats in the study rooms have been moved farther apart. Our employees will disinfect seats and public areas several times a day," said Zhang Fan, a senior director from the Jinan Library.

Scenic attractions in Shandong are taking similar measures, as cross-infection is still a danger. They are requiring visitors to give their real names and information about their contacts and whereabouts. They are also using big data technology to keep track of tourists and limit visitor numbers.


Visitors admire cherry blossoms at Five Dragon Pool Park in Jinan. [Photo/WeChat account: jnslyj]

Visitors must have their temperatures checked upon arrival, maintain a distance of no less than 1.5 meters from other people, and wear masks throughout the duration of their stays.

The Mount Tai Scenic Area, one of Shandong's most popular tourist destinations, reopened to the public on March 21.

In recent days, the number of visitors to the scenic area has averaged about 4,000 per day, according to the Mount Tai Scenic Area Management Committee.

"We calculated that two-thirds of the tourists came from other cities in Shandong, while one-third were Tai'an locals. There are few tourists from other provinces."

Jinan Wild World reopened to the public on March 20.

"The zoo has just reopened and not many people want to travel. Traffic is down about 70 percent from the same period last year," said a worker at Jinan Wild World.

"However, things are gradually improving. The average daily number of visitors reached more than 1,000 over the weekend."


A mother and her child look at an elephant at Jinan Wild World on March 20. [Photo/]

The worker said that animals have been fed well and are being housed in sanitized areas.

Many scenic spots have launched promotions and discounts to attract more tourists.

For example, Taierzhuang ancient town in Zaozhuang, which will reopen on March 28, has introduced a number of preferential measures.

"We are offering free admission and 50 percent discounts on cruises for Chinese medical workers, extending the validity of travel cards that expire after Jan 24, 2020 by 70 days, and lowering ticket prices from 160 yuan ($22.48) per person to 120 yuan per person during the extended 'touring Shandong in winter' promotion," said Huang Xiaoli, a senior manager of the scenic area.


An aerial view of Taierzhuang ancient town in Zaozhuang, Shandong province [Photo/WeChat account: tezgc2008]

Culture and tourism authorities throughout Shandong have also launched measures to stimulate the market and facilitate the development of the cultural and tourism industries.

The province will launch a series of cultural activities, including the "Fourth Cultural Consumption Season" and the "Friendly Shandong" themed tourism promotion.